June - December 2019, FLP South West Guest Speakers


Alan Barlow, Trustee, Integrity Action. Formerly CEO, Hamworthy Combustion Group 


Martin Edwards, CEO, Julia's House

Martin Edwards 2015

Martin Edwards is Chief Executive (since 2005) of the children’s hospice Julia’s House, in recent years awarded Healthcare Charity of the Year at the Charity Awards, Best Employer at the Third Sector Awards and listed in The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Places to Work in the Public & Charity Sectors’ five years running. New breakthroughs include persuading Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Junior to raise seven-figure sums each for the charity’s new hospice appeal. Martin, a fundraiser by background, is also a former columnist for Third Sector magazine.  


Debbie Geraghty, Chief Executive, Plymouth Music Zone

Debbie Geraghty has worked for Plymouth Music Zone for 16 years having been its Development Director for 6 years before taking over the helm. Debbie came to the charity sector following a successful career in broadcasting as a Political Correspondent and programme producer. Before entering television, she lived and worked in Japan for 6 years creating and leading international language and cultural programmes preparing Japanese people to work overseas. It was her first job following her graduation with an MA in Sociology from Edinburgh University. She returned to the UK to train as a journalist before finding her current home in the South West.

In her current role, Debbie has worked with her team to help position Plymouth Music Zone as a flagship socially engaged music charity strategically embedded within education, health, social care and community agendas. She was appointed as the first arts sector representative on the new Advisory Board of Plymouth University’s Institute of Health and Community sharing learning on how the arts and charity sector can inform academia. Debbie has since pioneered a ground-breaking ‘Learning Partnership’ with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to share learning on academic partnerships with a larger arts organisation setting out on a similar path. She has always been keen to demonstrate the equal value of smaller organisations and to challenge established notions of power that may cause barriers to inclusive leadership approaches.

Debbie completed the IoF Certificate in Fundraising and sits on the committee of the Institute of Fundraising’s National Cultural Sector Network set up to improve fundraising within arts and cultural organisations and was one of the founding members. She also regularly mentors other arts and charity leaders and fundraisers via the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Fellowship programme and the Culture Sector Network’s Young Arts Fundraisers programme. Debbie is passionate about personal development and self-care as well as using the arts as a powerful tool for social change.


Gemma Hardy, Director, Aspire Leadership Development

Gemma Hardy is an expert coach and facilitator, with 20 years’ experience in designing and delivering capability-building programmes and communication strategies to build performance and support strategic, organisational and operational change.

Gemma’s first career was in the British Army where she served for 7 years in a variety of roles and locations (UK, Germany, Cyprus, Kosovo, Falkland Islands), including as an Education and Training Officer. This was followed by 8 years in the reserve forces, which included an operational tour in Iraq. 

She then spent 12 years in the UK and South Africa as a consultant with McKinsey & Company where she specialised in organisation and communication. During this time, she was project leader for a programme to equip ~850 McKinsey consultants per year with the skills and competencies for higher leadership roles. She now runs her own leadership development and communications consulting business, serving clients in the UK and around the world.


Martin Whitbread, Founder & CEO, simple/phrase



Please note, guest speakers may be subject to change.